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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 24, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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we will be watching and we will be applauding. thanks for watching, i'm al sharpton. stay with msnbc tonight for special coverage of the state of union starting at 8:00 p.m. "hardball" starts right now. state of disunion. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, two visions of america. look for tonight's state of the union address to be president obama's answer to the republican candidates' vision of america. the republican right argues that government is the problem, the market is triumphant and losers are on their own. well, president obama will say we need to all play by the same rules and government has a role
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in helping business and in providing a safety net. whoever wins that argument will likely give next year's state of the union. if fairness is the issue, could mitt romney have released his tax records at a worst time? the romney campaign was probably trying to bury the issue on speech day. instead, they teed it up for president obama. romney paid just 13.9% in taxes. it's not illegal, but is it right? plus, it's not just debates like the one last night keeping newt gingrich in the game. he just got another $5 million. this time from the wife of sheldon adelson, the man who gave newt $5 million earlier this month. so who is this guy? and what does he want for his money? and the jfk presidential library released the final set of audio recordings from the kennedy years, including one from 1963, three days before dallas.
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and let me finish with how different the president will sound tonight from what we've been hearing from the republicans. we start with president obama's state of the union address. jay carney comes to us from the white house. he's the press secretary to the president. thank you for coming. this question of mitt romney's tax returns. he's coming out admitting he said it was going to be 15%. it was shy of 14%. it's exactly on the mark with what the president began to really argue in his kansas city speech. can you exemplify why this is an important case example of tax unfairness? >> well, look, chris, the president is not interested in singling out individuals. what he is interested in is discussing a principle about how our tax code needs to be more fair. what we have seen for at least a decade and in many ways three decades, as you know well, is a situation where the middle class has been squeezed.
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they saw incomes shrinking or stagnating, while the wealthiest americans saw their slice of the american pie grow bigger and bigger. the president wants to make sure that we have an economy that's built to last, where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does his or her fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. >> is he going to get rid of the situation? if you were out there making money off money, like mitt romney is, fair enough, he sits on a pile of money. he lives off the dividends and the interest rate. he's paying less than 14% because all he's paying is cap gains. now, will the president change the law so that people who live primarily off money, not work, have to pay the same rate as people who live off work? will he make a change? >> the short answer chris is, yes. a fundamental principle he'll put forward tonight, with specifics, is the buffett rule,
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which is called the buffett rule. he cited it before. it's named after warren buffett, who has made clear that even though he's a billionaire, he doesn't believe he should be paying lower taxes than his secretary. his secretary is going to be sitting in the first lady's box at the state of the union address. visually reenforcing the point that the president will make in the speech, that we need a tax system that ensures that everyone does their fair share. and that way, we are able to pay for the things we need to pay for, like a strong national defense and strengthening and retaining and securing medicare and medicaid and social security and investing in education and innovation. that we have the means to do that and it's done in a fair way. >> you know, listening to the republicans, you's think the president of the united states was passing out food stamps to people that vote democrat.
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what does the president say when he hears this divisive rhetoric aimed at portraying him as an arched lefty and somebody living off welfare as sort of a king of the welfare state? what does he do? how does he unite a country when we have people running around like troubadours, selling this kind of pious bologna? >> i think he believes, i know he believes, that the american people are smarter than that. they don't believe a lot of the rhetoric that they sometimes hear. in part, because the facts tell a different story, as you know.
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the fact is that this president came into office in the midst of the worst economic calamity that we have seen in our lifetimes. the worst since the great depression. and the tough decisions he made to right the ship and put it on the right course have had us growing the economy and creating jobs for a substantial period of time. the hole was deep, and we have a long way to go before of we're out. he's done it by providing tax cuts to small businesses, by providing relief to middle class families through the payroll tax cut. doing the things that demonstrate his commitment to the american middle class. >> thank you so much. jay carney, come back again. howard fineman is huffington post editorial director and an msnbc political analyst. i want you to watch something. i thought it was good from newt. there's a little good from everybody. i like this part, besides the brazenness. here's something he said last night. he spoke about how he asks people to be with him and not for him. a big distinction. let's listen. >> i tell audiences, i never ask anyone to be for me. they vote yes and say i sure hope newt does it. i ask people to be with me, because i think this will be a very hard, very difficult journey. >> people listen carefully to what i'm saying. that is politics.
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you don't tell people i'm going to be your big brother, big sister and look out for you. i'm going to go to washington and look out for you. i need you once i get there. i need you to lobby with me with members of congress. i need you to root for me. be part of me and understand me. participate. >> chris, it's also consistent with what newt gingrich's message and his critique is. he's saying -- he's portraying barack obama as a king. >> as a what? >> as a king, as the king of the welfare state. newt is portraying himself as the man of the people and positioning himself as the guy who will lead the struggling class in his fight against the suffocating big state. that's newt's mentality. what barack obama, what the president has to do tonight is say there's a role for government to help the very people that newt claims to help. and thinking about the campaign trail, and you and i have been on the campaign trail for the last month, i'm thinking of
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middle class voters in iowa and new hampshire, both of which are swing states, middle class people are struggling. the president has to speak to them tonight about jobs and skills and keeping jobs in america in a way that those people, despite their distrust of government, find convincing. otherwise, newt's leading the crusade that gets government is what's going to get it. >> everything you say is right. but i also think the president can do the same thing newt does for the other side, the center left and the center. which is to ask people to help him. to be with him. not just to watch him, but to be with him. ask people to come and be with him the way newt is doing. but let's talk about the substance now. one thing we know is coming is tonight, not that you just said it, because we did get a briefing today, that big part of this is job trading. every time i go home to north philadelphia, i go to the urban neighborhood. it's changed. african-american, largely hispanic now. it's a tough neighborhood. it's been beaten up. poor people that came from the south. there's no jobs for these people.
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there were factories within two subway stops. now they are tennis courts along the river. it's all gone. how do you bring back the manufacturing to the big cities where people need blue-collar jobs? and how do you bring back the training they need to work in those places? >> ironically, rick santorum, republican candidate, he's from pittsburgh and talks about manufacturing. it's something the president is going to talk about tonight. he's going to talk about in terms of skills and education and training. because this is something that most people still accept as a role of government. now, you can argue about whether it's local or federal government, but in an era when government itself is under attack, it's still possible, necessary and popular to defend the role of government in educating people, giving them new skill. >> yes all had public schools. >> giving them new skills. they need higher-level skills to do the manufacturing and other jobs. >> you can't fix a car with a wrench today.
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you need high-tech equipment and high-tech training. earlier today in florida, mitt romney blasted at what he hasn't heard yet. that's fair. let's listen. >> tonight, we're also going to get treated to more divisive rhetoric from a desperate campaigner in chief. it's shameful for a president to use the state of the union to divide our nation. and someone ought to tell him in order to put the economy back to work, everyone needs to be working. >> the stuff that comes out of his mouth that is shameful, he looks like he's sight reading something somebody just wrote for him. >> you and i just spent the last month immersed in and covering some of the most divisive rhetoric i have heard on the campaign trail for years. they don't accept the president's legitimacy in many ways. >> you mean the avowed muslim? i heard that line the other day from one of these republicans. >> i have never heard newt gingrich call president obama "president obama."
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it's usually just "obama." and i know that sounds like a trivial thing, but it's not. it's very important. and i think the president is not going to give a divisive speech, except the republicans will say anything about taxes is divisive. even taxing millionaires at 30% is divisive. that's what they are going to say. >> i think people know what fairness means. the average person who makes a good income in this country is paying 35%. why should mitt romney pay 14%? >> the president has to connect with the middle class people tonight. absolutely has to. >> you pay a chunk of money in this country if you pay taxes fairly. if you're living off coupon clipping, like this guy, you don't have to pay taxes. >> the only way he connects with them is the jobs stuff. >> thank you. fair taxes and job opportunities and training. howard fineman, thank you. stay with msnbc for live coverage of president obama's state of the union address coming up at the top of the hour at 8:00 eastern. coming up now, the wife of
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casino mogul sheldon adelson has given newt gingrich another $5 million. who are the adelsons what do they want and what would they expect if newt actually wins the presidency? you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc. tt is better than. since 1894, ameriprise financial has been working hard for their clients' futures. never taking a bailout. helping generations achieve dreams. buy homes. put their kids through college. retire how they want to. ameriprise. the strength of america's largest financial planning company. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you, one-to-one. together, for your future. ♪ ♪ a refrigerator has never been hacked. an online virus has never attacked a corkboard. ♪ give your customers the added feeling of security a printed statement or receipt provides... ...with mail. it's good for your business. ♪
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and even better for your customers. ♪ for safe and secure ways to stay connected, visit well, indiana governor mitch daniels will deliver the official republican response to president obama's state of the union tonight. sure enough, the drums are beating again for daniels to rethink his decision not to run for president. here's what bill crystal wrote in "the weekly standard." "i've got to think monday night's debate further swelled the ground swell of support for mitch daniels." we'll see what kind of game daniels has tonight after the state of the union. he's not running for president. the field is fixed. bill crystal, a brilliant guy, is wrong. we will be right back. gomery an abigail higgins had...
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welcome back to "hardball." newt gingrich's campaign is on a surge nationally. look at the latest tracking poll out today. he now leads mitt romney by 4 points. a remarkable number given that just last week, mitt romney was leading by 23 points. gingrich's fortunes as a presidential candidate owe a lot to one man. sheldon adelson, a las vegas tycoon and eighth wealthiest man in the world. according to "forbes," wealthiest man in the world. the multibillionaire cut a $5 million check to newt gingrich's super pac earlier this month when the former speaker's campaign looked to be in trouble after a poor showing in iowa. well, yesterday, we found out that adelson's wife will kick in $5 million to his super pac. so what's behind the adelsons? what's behind this massive infusion of cash? we're going to get into that with the man who broke the news about the latest contribution. john ralston, host of "face to
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face," a show that airs on nevada stations. we also have john heilemann, an msnbc political analyst. john, i don't know. we're all used to sugar daddies in politics. people who have a particular devotion to a particular candidate and lots of money to back it up. i was thinking of bunny mellon, rachel mellon and john edwards. but here we have a guy, a very old man, a very wealthy man. i met him once in vegas. you might have been around during a miss america contest. he's made a fortune. he has casinos all over vegas. macao, the vegas strip. he has a midas to touch. why does he love newt? >> it goes back to the mid-'90s, chris, when newt and adelson met in the hallways of congress when adelson was there for the jerusalem embassy act. a congressman from georgia introduced him and they talked. they talked about israel. adelson is hawkish on israel.
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very involved in israeli politics, even more so than american politics. he has his own free newspaper he distributes there. but he and newt didn't have a blossoming relationship until after he left congress when adelson essentially funded his american solutions pac, $8 million worth. so they have had the israeli bond. no one was happier when newt came up with the palestinians are an invented people line than sheldon adelson and his wife, myriam, who is also hawkish on israel. they immediately associated themselves with those comments. >> let's be careful here. a good share of american people supports israel, generally speaking. and even people who are jewish americans who are committed to israel have positions that are very reasonable. adelson has a number of positions, which i think most people would think is divisive in the world.
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jonathan pollard, convicted of spying in israel, that is not a cause you hear most about. these are newt gingrich's positions. and then moving the embassy in jerusalem, which is a red-hot thing to talk about, it does nothing but ignites the people on the other side in the holy land. then not recognizing or dealing anymore with the palestinian authority, the moderate people on the other side of the green line. so i just think this is not exactly the normal pro-israeli position the adelsons are following, is it? >> no. he's very, very hawkish. he's a very bellicose guy, in general. he doesn't care about his public image the way the other casino owners might care about. he just doesn't care. he takes these positions and doesn't care. he's had similar attitudes that have been dissonant with the unions. he would be thrilled to see
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somebody who sees his way on the union movement in the white house. >> it's interesting. it seems to me that reagan was the teflon president. we all watched this perfect face. face. nothing stuck to it. it seems like nothing is as interesting about newt. even his marital problems over the years. they don't even see interesting to people. the only truly interesting thing is him being angry against president obama. getting millions from the adelsons. nothing seems to stick. the most fascinating thing about newt is newt. >> i think that's right. there's no question about it. and john ralston brings up the union. i think the other piece of adelson's attraction to newt is on the antilabor position. he would be antiunion, anti-unionizing and all that stuff. but i think your point is right, chris. but there's another thing going on, which is that there's so
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much money now in this that the notion of -- people who are paying attention know the super pacs are spending a ton of money. there's this outside money helping mitt romney. it's become a national joke with the help of stephen colbert and jon stewart, that the coordination has laughable. why do we care if its one billionaire backing newt gingrich versus seven billionaires following mitt romney? it's shadowy. the same thing happens in campaign finance all the time. they leap to the notion that this thing is corrupt to focus on the individual things. >> fundamental question. do people believe it doesn't matter who pays for the ads? because in the end, they decide what candidate wins? >> i think so, yeah. >> john, do you think people are willing to watch money being thrown around for specific goals because they feel somehow in the end, they have the candidate in control? they must have some reason for discounting all this stuff.
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>> well, listen, i think you guys know this as well as i do. people complain all the time about the money in politics, billionaires controlling their puppets. they watch the ads and they are saying i'm going to wait until the end to see the disclaimer. they are caring about the message they say they are going to revolt against when they are asked by a pollster or a journalist. you know that's how it works. people don't care about campaign finance reform. it is not a voting issue. unfortunately. >> one reason for newt's success in south carolina this past fight was his debate performances. i think they still matter more than anything. last night at the nbc debate in florida, however, he was playing defense. let's watch one exchange with mitt romney. >> i think it's about leadership. the speaker was given an opportunity to be the leader of our party in 1994. and at the end of four years, he had to resign in disgrace. >> i'm not going to spend the evening trying to chase mitt romney's misinformation. >> we just learned today that his contract with
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freddie mac was provided by the lobbyists of freddie mac. i don't think we can possibly retake the white house if the person who is leading our party is the person who was working for the chief lobbyist of freddie mac. >> he just went on and on and on making all sorts of allegations. first of all, he may be good at financials. he is a terrible historian. >> what's that all about? why did he fight back? >> that first clip we showed was the first thing out of newt gingrich's mouth. i'm not going to spend time addressing these things. that tells me that was a strategy. that's what they decided to do. he decided he was going to try to float above mitt romney. they knew romney was going to come in very aggressive. and they decided, they made a conscious decision he wasn't going to be the newt gingrich from south carolina. the audience wasn't involved. that made him even more different from what we saw. the pugnaciousness. but they made a decision they wanted to adopt the front runner. he was going to be big and not punching down. >> will the mongoose beat the cobra?
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will he win with this strategy? >> i think by thursday, the old newt gingrich will be back. and the crowd in the game. >> audience reaction. we are all going to enjoy that noise level. anyway, thank you john ralston. and john heilemann. up next, jfk in his own voice. a final batch of audio tapes. coming up in a minute. lots of stuff about vietnam that is always controversy, only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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obama during the debt ceiling debate was like touching a tar baby." great line there, congressman. congressman scott says it's not meant as a sign of protest. last week, scott blasted the president in his speech to tea partiers saying he was undecided about attending tonight's speech. now switching gears, it's an important day for kennedy people out there. that's most of us. the jfk presidential library in boston released the final set of audio recordings from kennedy's time in the white house. 45 hours in total. in this 1963 recording, kennedy receives a briefing from a general and also a state department advisor just back from vietnam. listen as kennedy's confronts them for presenting different accounts of what was happening on the ground. the advisor not optimistic. the state department, not so much.
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>> possibly the most haunting of the collection is this one coming up now from november 19th, 1963. as you'll hear on the recording, kennedy and his aide is trying to figure out a time to squeeze in a meeting with an indonesia general. let's listen. >> just two days after that exchange you just heard there, the president would leave for texas and that hell of a day became the day of kennedy's funeral. the rest of the lineup of the
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recordings include discussions about the 1964 campaign meetings with foreign leaders and even an interaction with his young children. up next, mitt romney's taxes. he paid an effective rate under 14%. it's not illegal, but is it fair? that's ahead. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. hey, aren't you supposed to be following that fidelity green line? well, yeah, but it keeps leading me back to my old office. i think it might be broken. or maybe it's trying to tell you something. yeah, but what could it be try-- oh, i left my 401(k) at my old job. and i left a jacket on the back of my door. but i think the line's talking about my 401(k). leave a 401(k) behind? roll it over with a company that's helping more people reach retirement than anyone else. call or come in for a free portfolio review today. when we were determined to see it through. here's an update on the progress. we're paying for all spill related clean-up costs. bp findings supports independent scientists
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i'm millissa rehberger. here is what is happening. thousands of mourners stood in line for hours today to pay their final respects to former penn state coach joe pat terp know. once inside the pennsylvania spiritual center, they filed kwai rhettly past his casket. paterno it died sunday of lung cancer. he was fired last year following a sex abuse scandal by a former
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coach. charred particles are being sent to earth. the storm would be the biggest in six years, but there were only minor disruptions for airlines. scientists say the storm is intensifying the northern lights which may be seen as lower-than-normal altitudes. searchers combing the capsized cruise liner off tuscany have discovered another body today. so far, 16 have been found aboard the shipwrecked "costa concordia." salvagers will begin pumping fuel out of the ship's tanks on saturday to prevent any leaks that might harm the environment. now back to "hardball." i'm putting out two years, which is more than anyone else on this stage. i think it will satisfy the interests of the american people to see that i pay taxes and where i give charitable contributions to. and i think that's the right number.
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>> that's the right number. welcome back. we'll decide. that was mitt romney at last night's debate in florida. tonigh, romney released his 2010 tax return on his website along with an estimate of his taxes for last year. the returns show romney had a combined income of over $42 million for those two years. that's total. he paid over $6 million in taxes. gave $7 million to charities. he had a tax rate under 14%. for 2010, an estimated tax rate of 15% for this past year. that means romney made an average of $57,000 a day over the past year, while the average household makes just over $57,000 a year. what is most notable is he made a much lower tax rate than most americans because his income came solely from investments. bob shrum and mark halperin are joining us. let's focus on the fairness issue.
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we know, bob and mark, that we face a deficit for years to come. we have a debt problem which grows in towers and threatens us with a catastrophe. the question is, who is going to close the gap in our deficit over time so we can deal with the debt burden over time fairly? obviously, our system is based on the ability to pay. here's a guy who is fully able to work, but doesn't have to work because he's wealthy with cash. he makes money off of money. he makes a lot of money and draws out the kind of income he really feels like drawing. he can probably reinvest everything, mark. 14 to 15% in taxes compared to most people who work hard, do well in this country who pay 35% and above. count state and local, almost 50. my question is, will there be a bounceback against this guy for being an exhibit a of unfair taxes? >> there definitely will be if he's the republican nominee.
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if it doesn't get worse for him, it's still a difficult thing for him to deal with. it's still going to be a challenge for him if he's the nominee. it still could get worse. he doesn't talk about it folksy. there's still pressure to release additional years. there's muckraking that will go on about what was released today. this is not a great situation for mitt romney by any means. the thematics for the white house if they face romney, couldn't be any better. >> bob, this seems like a perfect hit on the target. the president wants to talk tax fairness tonight, i think. one of the issues, he's been talking since kansas city about people who make money off money. not that there's anything wrong with it. most retirees hope to make money off money. it's when it's your only source of income, you're not swinging a pick or doing anything but clipping coupons and benefitting from a low tax rate for capital gains. >> yeah, look, you and mark are both right about this. he's going to live with this through the campaign, assuming he survives newt gingrich. he has money all over.
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i was interested that he has money in the kayman islands and luxembourg and the bahamas. he doesn't like europe, but he likes european banks. people will ask questions about that. the one thing he said in the clip you showed was he thought releasing two years was just about right. what that leads me to suspect is there that there may be something wrong in other years. the natural thing would have been 2007 and beyond. the time he's been running for president. i think there's something in there that says he can't afford to do it. the other thing, there's nothing wrong with being rich and running for president. the roosevelts were rich. the kennedys were rich. but people believe they cared about ordinary, middle-class folks. what we have here is someone who is so tin-eared every time he gets off script, he says things like $374,000 isn't much money or tells a room of unemployed people that he's unemployed. what he's doing is he's painting a portrait of himself as mr. 1%. he's not rebuilting the case
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president obama is saying, he is reinforcing it. >> he is what he is. nobody would script such lines. you don't get told to talk like that. you are that. here's president obama's senior advisor, david plouffe. he seemed to relish his tax returns. let's listen. >> it's a good example of the tax reform we need. warren buffett said had he should not be paying less taxes than his secretary. the president tonight is going to lay out some specifics on the buffett rule. >> mark, do you think the president has to be specific? he makes reference to the buffett rule, saying if you make more than your secretary, you shouldn't pay less in tax rates. but i'm waiting for the president to actually come out with a tax proposal. doesn't he have to push something to the hill that says we're going to make this a fair tax system and not just talk it? >> this has been a winning issue for democrats for months. and they have not scored any actual political success with it. they have not passed legislation. they haven't particularly made republicans pay a price.
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in the context of this year's framing of the election and the election itself, that's where the breakthrough could come. republicans don't want to raise taxes on the wealthy. the american people and the obama administration would like to do it. i think it's going to take an election to have that fought over and the democrats may have more seats in the house before they have a chance to make it part of a deal. >> making that point, here's the pew poll. a slight majority of americans believe the tax system is unfair. when broken down by party, 73% of democrats believe it's unfair and 57% of independents believe they are not paying their fair share. why do you think republicans think it's a fair tax system when we show the obvious
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differential between the 15% that's charged to people who make money off money to people? >> well, i can understand why a lot of the people high up in the republican party think the tax system is fair. it's entirely fair to them. >> why the cloth-cut republican? why the regular republican? why do they say it's a fair system? >> when they hear fair system, is this a fair system, they are hearing the question, did bush do the right thing when he cut all these tax rates? did reagan do the right thing when he cut all these tax rates? although, as we know, reagan did raise taxes and raise taxes on the wealthy when he thought it was required to deal with the deficit. i think this is going to be a defining issue in the campaign, mark is absolutely right. it's going to go beyond taxes and go to issues like medicare and opportunity and investment in education. and the president is going to say tonight, he's for fairness. and mitt romney stands there in this republican campaign liberally as the embodiment of unfairness. >> mark, this is one of the great political questions. the president is going to debate romney if he's the nominee.
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he may get bumped off politcally by newt, but if they get in that debate, would you think it's smart of the president to look right at mitt and say, i know why you don't want to change the tax system. i saw your returns. >> he may well. i doubt he will get that personal. it doesn't seem instinctively with how the president is. bob worked on a campaign against mitt romney. everyone who studied him on the democratic side believes he's going to be an easy mark because he cannot bring humor and warmth and folksiness to tough situations, as i said before. for people supporting speaker gingrich, and saying he's more electable, there is is growing sentiment in the party that says romney simply can't handle these issues in a way that matches up well with the president. >> it's just weird because a lot of people who bust hump to make a lot of money are not embarrassed by the fact they did make. his use of the word success is weird. he's embarrassed in a weird way that i can't get. donald trump has never been
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embarrassed by his wealth, i've noticed. thank you bob and mark. not that he is a role model for normalness. or charm sometimes. president obama and republicans have very different with their visions in what role government to plays. we're going to hear that tonight. that's ahead. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] feeling like a shadow of your former self? c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows.
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ameriprise. the strength of america's largest financial planning company. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you, one-to-one. together, for your future. ♪ welcome back to "hardball." the contrast between president obama and the 2012 republican candidates is not just about their competing visions for america. it's more fundamentally about their competing role of government in peoples' lives. here they are. first, listen to the president's speech in kansas last month, which is widely seen as a preview of his 2012 election message. then listen to part of mitt romney's prebuttal today. >> there's a certain crowd in
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washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let's respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. the market will take care of everything, they tell us. here's the problem. it doesn't work. yes, business and not government will always be the primary generator of good jobs with incomes that lift people into the middle class and keep them there. but as a nation, we have always come together through our government to help create the conditions where both workers and businesses can succeed. >> this president puts his faith in government. i put my faith in the people of america. ours is a party of free enterprise, free markets, free consumers and consumer choice. that's the difference between our party and the president. he leads the party of big government. he believes in ever-expanding entitlements. he's wrong. we're right. >> wow.
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which vision will americans choose this next november? congressman jim mcdermott represents the 7th district of washington state. thanks for joining us, congressman. and congresswoman marsha blackburn represents the 7th district. i thank you that number 7 is the only thing you two have in common. where do you stand on this issue, congresswoman, on the question of tax fairness? do you think it's fair for mitt romney to pay about 14%, 15% when he makes over $40 million a year? >> i think let's be fair about that. he earned money and he paid taxes on it. then he invests money and he's paying the rate there. but, chris, what we know is we need a fairer and simpler tax. that's one of the things that we as republicans are working toward. >> are you working towards equalizing the money you make off money with the money you make off work? equalizing capital gains with regular salary income? are you working toward that equality? >> we are working toward making certain that individuals are
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going to have a flatter, fairer, simpler tax that they are going to pay. whether it is off of that money that they are earning or off the money they are earning or off the money they are investing. one of the things we know, in order to grow jobs in this country, you've got to do a few things and access to capital is something that we hear about regularly from our main street employers and our innovators who have great ideas and are looking for a way to get the ideas and products to the marketplace. >> i don't hear clarity, congressman mcdermocdermott. are you equalizing the disparity, do you want to bring the numbers closer together in. >> it's grossly unfair, chris, someone to sit at home and clip coupons, get unearned income and pay 15% tax on it, while some brick layer, or some waitress is
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working eight hours a day running around carrying bricks and plates and they are getting taxed at 25 or 30%, that's simply not fair and there ought to be a change in the tax structure. the government has to take the role. >> yes, lower the rate, have washington take less and have washington spend less. that's exactly right. and what we've seen happen over the last few years is an explosion in regulation. 4,000 new regulations this year alone from this administration. 80,000 new pages to the federal register. over 1800 rule making hearings this first six months of this year alone. that is the explosion of big government and i say let's make certain that we lower the rate, we have government spend less and we get the fiscal house in order. >> let's take a holook at the
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comments made by newt gingrich and mitt romney how to deal with the foreclosure problem. here is mitt romney described his plan to address the foreclosure crisis that is everywhere, where we were last night in florida. let's listen. don't try and stop the foreclosure process, let it run its course and hit the bottom, ahow investors buy homes, renters in them. >> mr. mcdermott, here is a guy that says the best thing to do abut foreclosures is foreclosure, have the developers fix up the property and offer for rent, get rid of the notion of owning your own home and commit people for the rest of their lives to rent, pass their income upward so they are always going to get sucked dry by the owner. i don't understand how anybody could advertise that as a
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political philosophy. >> i always think i've heard everything but what you just got out of mitt romney's mouth is the end of the middle class dream. when my father told me at 18 or 19, jim when you get the money, buy a house, that is where your savings are, a place for your family to live, a place for your kids to study, that what is you should do. what mitt romney is saying, oh, well, we don't care if people get thrown out, we got four million people in foreclosure and another ten million people who are under water in this country. that is the middle class going down. they are being crushed by the banks. >> we're out of time, congress woman i know you have a different room. mr. mcdermott, that is very irish, always own the land. when we return we finish how different the president will sound tonight from what we have been hearing from these, from the dueling banjos of newt gingrich and mitt romney.
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let me finish tonight with this. the president speaks tonight which will be a healthy contrast to what we have been hearing in the republican primary fight. don't expect to hear about food stamps. that is newt's domain. expect to hear talk of common goals for country like training z thpeoppeopl
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people, don't expect to hear the success of individuals, the state of the union address isn't success magazine, it's not about a few people making a bundle but a country being a place where all people have a chance. you'll hear about sharing tcost fairly, people who make money, paying the same rate as the person out there putting in a hard day's work at the job. not at home or traveling around collecting the benefits of simply having money. tonight i suspect is going to be an optimistic speech how the country is managing challenges, not how the country is declining. we heard from the declinist crowd on the republican side tonight, we'll hear from a guy who is convinced we're far better off. i say we are a couple of republican members won't attend. what a perfect state of the party's attitude, the past three years. obama came in office desiring to unify the parties in common effort. on the stimulus bill, health care bill led by the senate
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leader mitch mcconnell they straigh straight-armed him from the state. they wanted signs they could work together for country's good on matters like jobs and health care. the republican leader wanted very much to insure that didn't happen. so here we are in the fourth year of a presidency looking for a sign that the two parties can work together. the big question toward the end of the year is whether the voter will reward the strat the at the gee of of not working together or reward instead the stick to it tiveness of the president who never stopped working across the aisle. he impressed many of us with his comm commitment. he will remind us that remains the main purpose of his presidency, he will use a second term to reach his goal of working with republican grown-ups to make that dream of american opportunity once again a living, breathing reality. that is "hardball" for now,


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